As we entered the fourth quarter of the Bills vs Jaguars game, I couldn’t contain myself from wanting to start this article. In an ugly game filled with penalties, several scrums, and even a fight, there was one thing of beauty in this game.
Yes, you heard me right, the kid who was described by many as a parody of an NFL quarterback was the best player on the field for the Bills today.
With just over eleven minutes left in the game, Allen goes 7-of-15 for 154 yards and a touchdown. Not eye-popping numbers, but those numbers don’t nearly tell the whole story. For starters, there was at least another three completions for 50 yards and three first downs wiped out by penalties.
Allen hasn’t had much time in the pocket but when he did he stepped in and made some perfect throws. When he didn’t have time he made time by scrambling to extend plays with his arm and his legs. Oh yeah, he’s also the Bills leading rusher at this point and just ripped off a 45-yard run to bring his total to nine carries for 98 yards and a touchdown.
It’s not going to be like this every week, but when developing a young quarterback you take any signs of encouragement you can get. Allen took out the “trash” today against the fourth ranked defense in the NFL, that has a couple hundred million dollars invested in it.
There were still some rookie signs, a little anxious in the pocket, quick to break out and scramble, but overall Allen showed poise and patience against a great defense. For the rest of the season, Allen will have the benefit of seeing less imposing defenses. The perfect recipe to get him some reps and confidence to build on.
Allen clearly has all the physical traits it takes to make a franchise quarterback. He is also described across the board as “smart” and “coach-able” so the most important question left is – can he process and make decisions at game speed?
He took a nice step forward in answering that question on a 75-yard touchdown pass to Robert Foster. On that play, Allen stood in the pocket until the last possible second and threw a laser to Foster who barely broke his stride on the route.
It’s going to be a long, bumpy road ahead for the polarizing prospect out of Wyoming (shout out to Robyn) but for now, the evaluation process is one week at a time. This will be one enjoyable week. While there are still many questions to be answered, one thing you never have to question is Allen’s heart. He will literally put it all on the line every week.
Editor’s babble: Haha… shout-out happily reciprocated. I did slog it out for a long time trying to keep the masses of Josh Allen ‘haters’ from overwhelming public opinion before the kid was given a chance in the NFL. He does have a long way to go, but I’ll go to my grave believing what everyone else missed with this kid is more about the intangibles I preach like a broken record. I will watch with glee and gratitude as this young man’s career unfolds in the NFL because he is a shining example of analytics not getting everything right. Statistical outliers exist, and quarterbacks with loads of intangibles are very hard to identify by standard measures. Those of us who can evaluate intangibles are finally getting some respect. Huzzah. You can find me on Twitter @RobynMundyWYO.